Does This RV Make Me Look Fat?

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We have to face some truths here. I can only speak for myself, but when we sold our home and bought the Motorhome, I gained weight. About 35 pounds to be exact. I call it the RV Bloat. Doesn’t sound very dainty, does it? It’s the truth.

The Beginning is a Good Place to Start

When we had our house, I loved doing the yard work. We had a small to medium-sized front yard and our back yard was huge. Once a week, I would first rake up all the droppings from the magnolia trees in the front yard and from our dog in the back yard. Next, I would get the lawnmower out of the garage, plug it in and go to town!

The whole process took almost two hours. It was a work-out!

In one bedroom of our home, we also had a full-sized work-out machine, with weights, lifts and pulleys. In the living room we had a full sized treadmill. I used the treadmill nearly every day and the work-out machine twice a week. I also did Tae-Bo religiously.

Then we moved into an RV. The beginning of the “bloat”!

Rolly Polly

No, not entirely true, but I felt like it. Actually, I did not gain weight overnight. Of course not. It was barely noticeable until… I noticed it. Living and traveling in an RV, to some, would indicate lots of hiking, bike riding and various other outdoor sports.

This is true when we’re traveling. When we’re stationary for a any duration, it’s different. The weight sneaks up on you like a thief in the night stealing all your skinny clothes and leaving you with fat clothes you didn’t know you had.

The scale must be broken

The Battle of the RV Bulge

Living in the reduced space in an RV not only results in less activity inside but, depending on where you are, less opportunity for activity outside too. RV’s, by comparison can be smaller than a studio apartment. Many longer rigs are nearly the equivalent to a small one bedroom apartment, but without the width.

Inside, there is less room for exercise equipment, if that’s what you’re in to. There is even less space to have to clean…which is one form of exercise. Exercise to lose weight

All of these things, and this is just a fraction of all the excuses I can come up with, equate to less activity and more opportunity to pack on the pounds.

Healthy Habits

Ahh, but there is a solution to this weight gain madness. Here are just a few possible solutions for you.

  • Plan healthier, well-balanced meals.
  • Kick the fast-food to the curb – no more late night feedings.
  • Start your day with a fruit and/or veggie smoothie.
  • Trim the number of meals down to two per day or 4 much smaller meals
  • Use smaller plates (yes, I said that!) Your eyes really are bigger than your stomach.
  • Buy a fitness tracker and USE IT! These can be great little motivators to get you moving.
  • Invest in smaller fitness equipment such as a mini stepper or mini elliptical machine.
  • Get out of the RV and take a walk. Get some mileage on the fitness tracker I mentioned above.
  • Drink more water.

There are many reasons RVers gain weight. From health problems to simple inactivity. Living in an RV doesn’t have to be the cause of your weight gain, as was my excuse.

Get up and move more. Set some weight goals and stick to them. These things worked for me.

Losing weight, especially if you’re a senior is difficult but it’s not impossible. Make sure you have a thorough check-up from your doctor first and ask for some recommendations to help you get started.

Healthy eating isn't boring...it's beautiful
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26 thoughts on “Does This RV Make Me Look Fat?

  1. Hello Sue, what a great title! Who would have thunk that even an RV could make us look fat.. oh that proverbial female question. Grin. But the more I read on , the more it makes so much sense. So are you going to think about doing some of those things? I have already switched to a small bowl for my meals.. and it works for me.
    I think your tips are great. And walking, well that is my go to always.
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Hi Ariel, Yes, I have used many of these things I mentioned in the article, especially the smaller sized exercise equipment. Walking is always my preferred method of exercise too. I find that I can also meditate when I walk…I love that! Thank you for your comments, Ariel.

      All the best,

  2. I guess I never really thought about it, but I guess gaining weight can be one of the challenges of downsizing to an RV. It makes sense that you would not have to do any yardwork and there is no room for exercise equipment. You provide some great solutions to this problem. I think starting your day with a fruit or veggie smoothie is a terrific idea. I know that when I start my day healthy, I tend to follow that the rest of the day.

    1. Hi Lisa, yes, I completely agree! When I start my day with a healthy meal, I’m better about what I eat from then on. Living in an RV, and a small one at that, you just have to minimize the size of your exercise equipment too. I appreciate your comment very much.

      All the best,

  3. It sounds a wonderful lifestyle living in an R.V. A life of adventure. Your title “Does this RV make me look fat” gave me a good giggle.
    You plan of action with the meals and exercise ideas are great.

    1. Hi Tania, thank you so much for your comments. This is something near and dear to me because of my initial weight gain and struggle to get it all under control. I’ve figured out how to conquer it now and able to keep things in check. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      All the best,

  4. Ah, the hidden dangers of RVing!

    So, you live in your RV full time? Interesting.

    I suspect that I would have the same issues, though I have to admit that I am fairly sedentary already, given that I am doing all my work online. Still, I do have a yard to maintain, a driveway to shovel, in winter, a medium-sized house to vacuum and dust, etc.

    I’d like to think that the ability to go to new locations would inspire me to get out and walk more, but who knows?

    I think your tips are worth following, even if you don’t live in an RV.

    1. Hi Craig, yes, all those outdoor activities add up to burned calories. When you no longer have to do yard work or maintain a home, the calories not burned just pile up. There are several locations where walking or hiking is first on our agenda and those activities really help. Since I’m used those tips myself, I can attest to the effectiveness. Thank you so much for your comments.

      All the best,

  5. Hello Sue,
    I must say, I love your title! Sure did get my attention.
    You are right, inactivity – any way you slice it, means additional weight – not just moving house to an RV!
    Yes, there are so many ‘little things’ that we need to be mindful of…portion sizes, moving a bit move, walking, just stuff…and it will make the difference in the long term.
    Thanks for the reminder and keep moving – no pun intended on your place of residence!

    1. Hi Michelle, the really is to keep busy, keep moving! It was something I had to learn though…or more accurately to remind myself how easy it is to get some exercise. Thank you for your comment.
      All the best,

  6. Hi Sue,

    Love that title. It definitely caught my attention!
    Weight gain is something many of us struggle with as we age. And living in a smaller space with less upkeep would be a contributor to the lower metabolism that comes with aging. I love your tips on smaller plates, smaller and more frequent portions, and getting and tracking moving! Walking is my favorite, just getting out in nature and fresh air.
    Off to my mini-breakfast!

    1. Hello Annie, I think there’s a correlation here…smaller space, smaller plates, smaller portions. I love walking too. It is my favorite form of exercise. Thank you so much for your comment.

      All the best to you,

  7. Hello Sue,

    I have noticed the same problem moving from a house to an apartment. We used to have a large yard and like you that entailed certain chores outside. This was even moreso the case for my husband with mowing the yard in summer and shoveling snow in winter. There was always weeding of the relentless tall, tough grass that grows into everything though, watering front and back, planting, raking etc. etc. etc. I also had raspberries to pick and other lovely chores. The backyard opened up to wild land where I would go walking too. I miss that so much!

    Now we bought a 4-plex which is great economically but not great for getting outside. There is hardly any land with the building. The lot is tiny. No more gardening of any scale and not much lawn to mow. I do however need to vacuum the 3 story hallway more than I have been! We have traded outdoor chores for walking up to the 3rd story every time we need to haul groceries up or garbage down! That has been some good, unavoidable exercise! I still miss having the outdoor space though.

    I imagine in the RV it is even worse since you don’t have to walk up to the 3rd story just to go home at night!

    I agree that little healthy habits like eating healthy food and drinking water can make all the difference though!

    1. Hi Jessica! You know, I love my RV living, but I do miss that outside activity. I imagine you did just exchange the yard work for more indoor work. It’s all still exercise, right? LOL! When we had our house, it wasn’t an enormous home, but cleaning it did get me up and moving quite a bit. Now, I’ve just traded all that for more walking and hiking outdoors.

      I really appreciate your comment, my friend.

      All the best,

  8. I don’t think you could have picked a catchier title. I love the post too. I have a few friends that have RV’s. Both live in the same RV park too. One got really lazy and did pack on the pounds. The other decided she did not want that. She took strolls around the park and the nearby woods. She took her dog for a walk or just did some housework. Anything in a day that would make her busy instead of sitting still. Instead of gaining weight like my previously mentioned friend, she actually lost weight. I think like ten pounds by the end of summer that year.

    1. Hi Brittaney, It really does depend on how you handle this smaller space for sure. I did not handle it as I should have. Luckily, I saw what was happening early on and caught myself. In the park where we stayed it was laid out in a way that 4 laps around the park equaled one mile. We did this walk three times a day. I lost 30 pounds in no time.

      Thank you for your comments, Brittaney.

      All the best,

  9. Hi Sue,
    Very nice tip! I would never think about the possibility of increasing weight in a RV life. I always image that RVers are always driving to the fun places, moving all the time, and exercising every day. From your experiences, most of time you station in some where and have peaceful life. I guess that people who rent RV for short term will have different experience from people who live in RV for long term. What is the biggest difference between these two RV living?

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Normally, there are many opportunities to walk, hike, bike ride. But depending on where you are parked, it’s not always an option. To answer your question, short-term RVers are usually taking the RV out for their vacation/holiday time. These short-term RVers will normally be going to locations with lots of opportunity for activity. Long-term RVers may be staying for longer periods of time at one RV Park. Sometimes, this means having more of a routine similar to living in a fixed structure, but with a lot less space.

      I hope this answered your questions, Anthony. I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.

      1. Hi Sue,
        Thanks for the information. We are likely to be short-term RVer and plan to rent a RV for vacation.
        As mentioned earlier, we would like to use RV to visit some national parks in US. Did some research, I haven’t visited most of parks in Utah. There are 5 parks in Utah, which may take us 2 weeks. Do you have suggestion on best time to visit these parks as RVer?

        1. Hi Anthony, the summer heat in Utah can be dry and hot, so I would be careful about visiting in the hottest times of summer. Also, be mindful of popular holiday times too.

          If you plan on staying in RV parks in the areas around these national parks, make sure you reserve long in advance…even as much as six months in advance if possible. I hope this information is helpful to you.

          If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to drop by again.

          All the best,

  10. Dear Sue,

    Thanks for the great information. Although I don’t own a RV I often visit your website and in this post the topic “Healthy Habits” was my take and you provided with great tips.

    When you said this “Use smaller plates (yes, I said that!) Your eyes really are bigger than your stomach.” I am not able to stop laughing but I do understand the importance. And “Drink more water” I need to implement it without fail.

    Your Friend,

    1. Hi Paul, I’m glad you were able to see the importance of mindful eating. I’m also glad you caught the humor too. Thank you so much for your comments.

      I wish you all the best,

  11. My goodness, there really is so much to consider when switching to the RV lifestyle.

    It’s funny, I consider my apartment small and often joke by referring to my bedroom as “the closet” because it’s so small. But I do have the option of exercising in my bedroom or living room. With the exception of using stretch bands for the arms, space is really limited.

    But it seems that whether you live in a 5-bedroom house, a small co-op, or an RV, having a plan is essential. I appreciate your article, Sue, because this would have been another thing that I could have easily overlooked.

    I’m not in the market to get an RV just yet, but you’ll definitely be the person I contact when that glorious day arrives, Sue!

    1. Hello Veronica, thank you so much for your comments. My husband is the most easy going person in the world. He’d have to be to put up with all of my new exercise ideas. Yes, you are so right…having a plan is so important. One thing about living in an RV is that you are usually traveling to areas where there is hiking or a bike path or whatever your outdoor adventure would be.

      When the time is right for you, please do contact me.

      All the best,

  12. Hi Sue,
    Thank you for your honesty the title of this post made me a laugh.
    I think that you are right, many people have a reasonable sized home, and when they downsize to an RV they forget how much “sedentary time” they pick up when they travel from one site to the next.
    I agree with you that it would be hard to fit in your daily tae-bo or yoga routine. Mainly because of the lack of room.
    I can imagine that it might be hard to keep fresh fruit and vegetables sometimes as well. A think a combination of not knowing where the supermarkets / or local food markets are and having to throw fruit away when you cross state borders can result in you needing food with longer shelf life to get you through.
    Thanks for being so honest in your reviews.

    1. Hi Glenys, thank you so much for your comments on this post. Weight gain is a big issue for those starting this lifestyle. Once you’re more adjusted to RV living, the easier it is to lose weight and/or maintain your weight. Storage, especially refrigerator size can make a big difference. The smaller the RV, the smaller the refrigerator and the less space for fresh produce. There are always ways around this though.

      I appreciate your comments very much, Glenys.

      All the best,

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